The Bowmans Attempt To Leave Their Pasts Behind In Redneck #16

by Brendan M. Allen

Let’s go to prison! What does a state penitentiary’s most famous inmate have to do with the Bowman family? And what secret is Greg hiding from his dad?

Aw, man. So many things. When we first started this ride, The Bowman clan was existing. Getting by. They were taking care of their basic needs, but had really holed themselves up in a remote little corner of the world where they were relatively safe, but didn’t have a lot of freedom or mobility. They were resigned to it, mostly, but one night out on the town to blow off some steam started a chain of events that turned their whole world inside out.

By the time Redneck #16 opens, the Bowmans have blown two safehouses, lost a few family members and both their familiars. Everything they so carefully built over the centuries in West Texas has gone up in flames, and now they’ve caught the attention of The Parliament, who are more than a little pissed at the public scrutiny the Bowmans bring.
Now the gang is basically on probation, but even with limited privileges, it’s becoming clear how many things they’d given up for the illusion of safety back in Sulfur Springs.

Donny Cates slows things way up in this installment, but it gives some great opportunities for character development. A huge reveal that was teased way back on the Ed Luce charity variant cover of chapter three finally comes to light in the script. Not to get too spoilery, the revelation is handled brilliantly. I’ve always loved JV. This has always been a story about a family trying to be more than a pack of monsters. This is one of the emotional and compelling character moments that really drives the point home.
The artwork has similarly taken a turn. Lisandro Estherren’s loose linework and Dee Cunniffe‘s moody palette still work shockingly well with the tonal shift in the script. There’s hardly any gore in this chapter at all, save a brutal opening scene where Evil single-handedly dispatches a white supremacist prison gang.

Don’t let this momentary lull in the action fool you. Things are going to pop off again real soon. This is a story about self-defeating undead bloodsuckers, after all. Things can’t stay all sunshine and roses for long.

Redneck #16, Image Comics, released 24 October 2018. Written by Donny Cates, art by Lisandro Estherren, color by Dee Cunniffe, letters by Joe Sabino.

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